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Will Facebook’s Metaverse replace social media as we know it?

For 87 percent of Americans, trust in protecting their privacy wanes if Facebook succeeds to create their proposed Metaverse.

Facebook image: — © AFP
Facebook image: — © AFP

Just because Facebook rebranded, this does not mean their history of data leaks and privacy violations has been forgotten. As a case in point, a study released from NordVPN has revealed a whopping 87 percent of U.S. citizens expressed privacy concerns if Facebook succeeds in creating their proposed Metaverse.

Facebook’s Metaverse is a proposed new a virtual world where people can socialize, work, and play. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg seems to believe it is the future of the Internet and of his trillion-dollar company.

The data also suggests that around half of U.S. citizens fear it will be too easy for hackers to impersonate others. Other privacy and security concerns expressed in the survey include  47 percent of those polled do not trust that their identity will be legally protected. In relation to this, 43 percent are concerned of not being sure of the identity of others.

In addition, 45 percent of the people said they fear that the changes will lead to even more data can be collected and used against them. Following this, it was found that 41 percent think it will be hard to safeguard their real identity from their metaverse identity

Another area of concern is with payments. Here, 37 percent fear that their transactions will not be very secure.

According to Daniel Markuson, digital privacy expert at NordVPN, there are reasons behind Facebook’s announcement (as he explains to Digital Journal): “Over the years Facebook has been associated with huge data leaks and misuse of their users’ data. Last year Facebook rebranded itself as Meta, hoping that a new name will help people forget the tech giant’s previous misdeeds.”

Markuson adds: “With this rebranding, they’ve also introduced an ambitious new project — the Metaverse.”

However, Facebook’s past raises concerns, which Markuson notes: “This project is associated with huge privacy issues as well.”

Despite these reservations, the allure of anything new in social media remains high. This is indicated by 74 percent of those taking part in the survey saying they will be joining, or considering, the metaverse.

Despite this, and perhaps a sign of ‘if it is new it must be good’, more than half of the survey cohort (55 percent) do not know what the ‘metaverse’ is and only 14 percent said they could go into detail about how it will work.

As an iterative step, once the metaverse was described to respondents, 66 percent said they think the Metaverse can replace social media as we currently know and use it.

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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